There isn't really such a thing as 'busy work' for Lena Luthor; not in the usual sense. All the work she does is work she has to do, though at this point she's able to delegate a good portion of it when she'd rather focus her energy elsewhere.
She still works too much – at least in the opinion of the handful of people who get to have one – but the protests are usually token because Lena likes her work and guesses that it shows. She likes watching the companies under her guidance steadily climb in regard; likes watching projects complete that can be sent off into the world to make lives a little easier. Mostly she likes how she gets the chance to have a hand in things; how she gets to learn - still, and again - and how her efforts slowly but surely chip away at the deserved bias surrounding the Luthor name.
Just... not as much as she likes spending time with Kara. So when Kara works – or moonlights – Lena does the same, but when they're both not working, they also both try to keep it that way.
The sudden rise in the television's volume – We interrupt this program – makes her gaze lift sharply from the laptop screen, and she watches the anchor rattle off the lead-in before exhaling slowly.
It's something they share, in a way. The only real difference is that Kara gets called away or delayed from having to save lives, while Lena is taken to task keeping thousands of people employed. Frustrating, but necessary, and she keeps half an ear on the news bulletin as she secures her phone; pressing her thumb to the reader and tapping out the obnoxiously long unlock code before sending off a two-word message.
Kara's answer is roughly three dozen hearts followed by seventeen exclamation marks, and Lena chuckles as she settles a little deeper into the couch.
Love you too, Superdork , she sends back, and at the edge of her vision, the live news coverage shows National City's resident caped crusader abruptly halt in midair (and maybe check something in a blur too fast for even the finest cameras to decipher) before launching forward once more. And doing five loops in a row.
Lena watches the clip and wonders – with a fond shake of her head and definitely not for the first time – how the hell it took her so long to figure out that particular connection.
Admittedly, it hadn't been easy. The hair and the glasses are hardly a master's attempt at disguise, but the near-complete personality shift? That is genius, and she's quite sure that she wouldn't have pieced it together at all if she hadn't been so consistently exposed to both personas. Even with that, it took time.
Time for her to hear Supergirl's voice pitch just a little higher with anxiety, and feel a niggle at the back of her mind. Time to hear Kara's pitch just a little lower in frustration, and feel it again. Time to witness slumps of exhaustion or relief and chin-lifts of pride or obstinacy; time for a dozen tiny facial ticks and a hundred similar ways of moving that insisted to her that something was just out of reach, until one day she'd entered the CatCo bullpen to see Kara standing across from someone mid-debate – arms crossed, jaw set, shoulders back and head high – and watched the brilliant California sun slip free from behind a cloud and outline her profile in a burst of gold.
And knew. Right then, right there, between one breath and the next, and she'd almost started laughing because of course Kara Danvers was freaking Supergirl. Of course the powers that be couldn't resist making her that much more unattainable, or leave just one part of Lena's life free of the complexities that came with her family name.
The only thing to pull her back to the present is the low drrt-drrt of her phone; vibrating against the outside of her thigh.
? is all the message contains, and Lena's laugh is little more than a puff of air as she touches three fingers to her sternum and feels the slight race to her heart; fast enough to mean that something – unbeknownst to Kara, simply the lingering melancholy of a bittersweet memory - is bothering her, but not fast enough to mean actual danger.
I'm fine, darling, she promises. Stop worrying.
The answer is near-instant and very brief, and her lips quirk in reflex. The disgruntled-looking alien head with steam shooting from its ears is one emoji she's become quite partial to; mostly because it always manages to remind her of Kara's pout.
And no, Lena decides as she strokes an idle finger across the phone's screen while the television drones on, she never really stood a chance at resisting this.
Kara, it turns out, is a good cook. That isn't something Lena can claim to have expected due to how busy being two different people has to make her; especially with one of the two people in question working for first Cat Grant and then Snapper Carr. On the other hand, she supposes that if she – Lena 'raised in such disgusting opulence that she literally had a servant for every finger' Luthor – can learn to cook, then surely Kara 'Supergirl' Danvers can too.
The fact that both of them subsist largely on food prepared by others, is... well, Kara is a busy woman, and Lena is hardly the type to sit idle, either.
Still, both of them somehow manage to make time for their deepening friendship. One thing that fast becomes a tradition is an evening every week or two when they cook – and eat – together; Lena doing her utmost to ensure that neither of them contract scurvy, and Kara persistently finding the darndest ways to circumvent her.
“You have got to have the most super-powered metabolism on the planet,” she comments one evening in Kara's apartment, and focuses on her own serving so she can pretend not to see the blonde head jerk up, nor watch the accidental, trebuchet-like launching of a forkful of chicken over one toned shoulder and into the next room. “Seriously, Kara; you eat for twelve and it's mostly carb city. It's a wonder you look the way you do.”
Kara gapes at her, and somehow manages to make even that an attractive look. “I... work out.”
“Well, obviously.” Lena touches a smirk to the rim of her glass, and maybe – just maybe – lets a little bit of heat show in her gaze when she takes the offered opening and studies those sculpted shoulders and arms; for once beautifully displayed by the simple tank top her best friend is sporting. “Anyone with eyes can see that.”
That might have been a little much, she considers a touch ruefully; watching as Kara visibly flounders for something to say, only to shovel food into her mouth until her cheeks bulge like a chipmunk's while a blush spreads over every visible inch of skin from her collarbones to her hairline. After all, she isn't trying to push.
What she is trying do is offer. An opening, a shoulder, an ear. A hint that she knows – that she has for months – and that Kara can trust her with it if she's willing to.
She wants that trust. Craves it, really; maybe as much as she craves Kara's presence or the sight of the flush tinting her neck.
The truth of the matter is that Kara is simply too cute when she's flustered. Another truth, meanwhile, is that while Lena has been commended for her subtlety on several occasions, her ability to use it decreases significantly when exposed to someone she's attracted to.
Exponentially so, in fact, the longer the individual case of exposure is. So in some ways, their respective, busy schedules are something of a blessing in disguise. Much as she loathes having her time with this fascinating woman cut short, Kara is an adjustment in so many lovely ways that it leaves her feeling decidedly uprooted. She is sweet and genuine and kind; loyal and passionate and proud. More than that, she is tactile and open. Inviting – dangerously so – and sometimes in ways that Lena can't be sure she's entirely aware of.
In ways she maybe doesn't mean to be.
There's a steady, pulsating temptation in being around Kara Danvers in general, and it's one that certainly doesn't lessen when alone with her. Not at first, and not as time passes; as they become more at ease in each other's presence and hugs become increasingly lengthy while touches grow more and more common. The temptation strengthens with every curl of fingers around Lena's wrist, every brush of a palm against her shoulder and every light press of a hand to her lower back, until she has to take a moment to remind herself that she needs Kara to take the next step in.
That she needs to know that Kara trusts this – trusts her – enough to let it happen; to show that she wants it to happen, too, and that Lena isn't imagining things.
So when they're chatting in her kitchen one night – prepping hot chocolate while the TV murmurs at them from the living area and being so utterly familiar and domestic that it aches – Lena closes her eyes and clenches her fingers around the edge of the counter when Kara reaches for the mugs in the high cabinet behind her and steadies herself with a touch to her shoulder.
Not, Lena guesses, that she needs to.
She opens them again when she hears the soft clink of china against granite, but Kara's hand doesn't move. In fact, it lingers, and the same goes for Kara herself; standing just close enough for Lena to feel the heat of her body, and for the proximity to make it hard to hear anything other than the sound of her own blood roaring in her ears while those eyes watch her so very, very closely.
Kara bites her lip, and Lena tries – really – to not drop her gaze. “Can I--”
“Please,” she breathes, and watches those very blue eyes blink once, twice, before taking on a distinct twinkle.
“You, um... didn't let me finish the question.” Kara's voice has lowered – just by a few notes – into a register that reminds Lena of Supergirl at her most confident, and the closeness of their bodies means that she can feel the nervous energy leave; can watch the corners of Kara's eyes crinkle around a smile while the hand on her shoulder relaxes. “Shouldn't you maybe do that much before, y'know, basically giving me carte blanche?”
“I've yet to regret giving you carte blanche for anything,” is her answer; a smile of her own emerging when Kara laughs softly. “And I'm pretty sure you were going to ask if you could kiss me.”
“Hm, yeah.” Kara nods; the motion of her head almost lazy. “You're right.” She moves forward by a fraction; just enough for their foreheads to touch and their noses to brush, and there's the light pressure of a hand against the side of her waist. “Is the answer still the same?” she wonders, soft and warm, and Lena curls her fingers harder around the edge of the counter and knows that she is definitely blushing.
Not to mention that she's being teased. “Kara Danvers, so help me--”
Being cut off is usually something she hates with a passion. It tends to come part and parcel with her professional life; mostly by way of snooty old men who have some kind of irrational issue with her gender, her age, or the fact that she speaks her mind with little concern for their oh-so-tender pride.
Being cut off by Kara's lips, though? That's different. It's gentler, for one, and definitely a hell of a lot more pleasant than any conference call. It's light – enough to make it clear that Kara is still giving her the option of breaking away – and doesn't grow any firmer until Lena makes it; until she curls a hand around the back of Kara's neck to tug her closer, and feels the hand on her shoulder slide down her arm in return.
It's also entirely too brief, though when Kara breaks the contact she remains close enough that all Lena can see are those eyes; warm, smiling, and just dark enough for the sight to make her heart all but trip over itself.
“Hi,” Kara whispers, and her tone is somewhere between questioning and happy as her hand flexes faintly in time with Lena's heartbeat.
“Hi,” Lena murmurs in return as she threads her fingers in soft, golden hair; scratching gently at the warm scalp beneath her fingers and chuckling when those long lashes flutter in pleasure.
She pulls her in again; opens her up and kisses her slow and soft and thorough until Kara is whimpering against her mouth. She feels those fingers dig into her hips with just enough strength but also feels them tremble, and something deep in her chest swells until it almost hurts at the control Kara's exerting. At how careful she's making herself be.
The television drones quietly in the background while Kara presses closer and Lena's arms curl around her shoulders, and it feels, some idle little corner of her mind notes, a lot like plummeting towards the ground and then suddenly taking flight.